Friday, June 29, 2007

Schiele Museum of Natural History, Gastonia, NC

Thanks to our reciprocal membership to science museums (the benefits of Pink Palace Membership!), we were able to punctuate our trip from Chapel Hill, NC to Atlanta, GA with a stop at the Schiele Museum of Natural History. We left Chapel Hill early and made it to the museum by 10:30 am. Entrance was free, but the boys did choose to pay for a "mineral mining" exhibit. We wandered easily and compared it to the museums we've visited so far. We could have spent an additional hour or two, but left after two hours as our stomachs were grumbling. We headed to a Chinese/Japanese buffet and sated ourselves before finishing the drive. We did stop off at a tourist peach stand and got some gifts (Cheerwine soda from NC, peach salsa, hot sauce and cider).

The boys enjoyed the exhibit on patterns and volume the most. I would like to see both of these make their way to the Pink Palace.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

On the road again

This week finds the boys and I hitting the road on a week long jaunt. Our first stop is our favorite, Margo and Peggy's! I fell down on the photography job and simply enjoyed their company. Brought homemade bread and a big bottle of wine. We enjoyed a cool quiet evening. Thank you for your incredible hospitality.

We took off early the next morning and headed for Chapel Hill, NC. Easy trip and a great hotel. You might be in NC when the hotel sheets are Carolina Blue! I highly recommend the Best Western University Inn if you ever travel to Chapel Hill. It is close to the gym where the Triangle Kendo Club practices and UNC. Again, for some bizarre reason, no photos! Except for the one of me blow drying flour tortillas for wraps. That was hilarious! It seems the ice in the cooler melted and the ziplock bag leaked. Rather than have soggy wraps for dinner, Max suggested we blow-dry them. Weird, but it worked and we enjoyed a great dinner (and me a well deserved glass of wine!) William, lucky kenshi, did get to practice with Mike Watson-sensei and the rest of the Chapel Hill Triangle dojo Wednesday night. Despite a gym without air conditioning and a constant stream of UNC students gawking at the doors, William pronounced it an excellent practice and hopes he can go back! Arigatou Gozaimasu!

A lousy day spent with the geeks at All Kinds of Minds and Center for The study of Development and Learning. Big thanks to my generous parents for footing the bill. We were all keenly disappointed in the evaluation process. They appear to have a rather large stereotype about homeschoolers and I was surprised to find how standardized test-bound the evaluators were. Our experience was diametrically opposed to everything written about this organization. I would never recommend anyone attend unless you are completely and utterly clueless about your own child. They gave us no new information or help regarding how William learns and how to approach lessons differently (even said he had no strengths! What a laugh!) and succeeded in upsetting everyone. The visit cost $900 included standardized tests adminstered by a psychometrist, despite the literature saying they did not use standardized tests, and the "demystification" process offered no useable information we have not already heard and tried for years.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Miss Dashwood wears her heart on her ankles

These hats (Miss Dashwood) were knit in Bunny Hop on size 5 needles. I altered the pattern because I am a knitter and it's what we do. The socks or booties are just a tiny toe up sock made with what is probably 100% cotton sock weight on size 1's, short-row heel and toe on 14 stitches with an embossed heart that was later outlined using a single strand of the hat yarn and a simple 2x2 ribbing at the top. The lilac ones are done on 16 stitches, lace heart outline and a picot bindoff. I apologize for the wretched lighting. what I need is to borrow a baby for the photo, but I do not know any babies these days. These are a gift for one of William's Kendo teacher and his wife who are expecting their first child (purple and yellow booties) and for Diane M's first grandbaby (pastel set with lace-work heart)
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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Blue Ginger socks

Thanks to Astrid and Trekking ProNatura along with size 1 KnitPicks circulars, these socks are now off the needles. I called them Blue Ginger because of the incredible blue, it's almost sapphire blue, and the pattern which is sometimes called gingerbread. Notice I didn't use any ribbing? Done toe up, the pattern was on the top of the foot and the entire ankle and had enough stretch to be it's own ribbing. I just did a stretchy bind-off, as I always do for socks and voila. New socks. Now to wash them and see if they bloom and I lose some of that incredible cable detail.
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Monday, June 18, 2007

what's in a bra?

Correct, nothing family, knitting, cooking or dementing about this post. If you are a male, skip it. If you are a busty female who buys your bra at anything less than a top-notch bra shop, keep reading. I used to be a bra model. I have been fit more times than you can imagine. I will tell you than my size could change dramatically (and therefor the fit of the bras) within a 6 month span. Why am I making this post? Because I am a devotee of the well-fitting bra and the bulk of the information out there is WRONG about sizing. For years I was getting bras in a lingerie department of a large chain department store. Supposedly being "fitted". Now I know I was being fitted into what they had. Once a sales person told me there was "no way" I wore the size I claimed to wear. Another clerk informed me there was no such size (that was at Victoria's Secret, what a joke). So sales clerks reinforce the bad sizing. Get out a good tape measure. Hopefully enlist a very close friend to help you measure. Once we had a bra fitting party! We ordered Thai food, shared a glass or two or wine and buddied up for the numbers. Then we emailed a master fitter and got recommended sizes. We shopped online and we were all amazed at the difference a well fitting bra makes to your look, your attitude and your energy. Now I even wear bra-sized swimsuits. Makes all the difference and worth every single exorbitant penny. Go here for accurate, detailed bra fitting guides.
Read every single word of the fit information. If you underband size is small (like mine) you have to use a completely different set of fitting rules. Once you grasp it, it is life changing.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Kendo Cookies

In an effort to support his Kendo tournament(s) we came up with the idea of William making and selling some cookies. Initially this was for the Dallas tournament, but there were conflicts between the local Sensei and the individual in charge of testing so ultimately the dojo did not participate. We stopped selling cookies. Now Kendo Camp is upon us and we are selling again. Each time we sell out! :) Here are some photos of William selling cookies last week. He is wearing part of his uniform, but thought the Men or helmet would be too much and certainly couldn't make change with the Kote' on.

William gets a hair cut

Too bad I didn't get a before shot, but here is his latest hair cut. I cut it yesterday and it was more conservative. Today he convinced me to cut it shorter. He'll have to be careful about exposing the scars on his forehead, but the scalp length is long enough to cover those scars. He starts art classes this afternoon and is quite excited. He feels "cool". Today I'm pretty crazy about him...
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Saturday, June 09, 2007

w.w.k.i.p (world wide knit in public day)

Of course we knit everywhere we go, but today we met at Davis-Kidd Booksellers to celebrate w.w.k.i.p. We shared from our stashes, had drawings for cashmere, superfine mohair and autographed books. From back to front and left to right the participants were:
Suzie, Lisa, Susie, Sarah, Gayle, Ginger (Virginia J) Nanette, Diane and not picture is Laura. Thanks to all of you for taking time out and sharing the "good news about knitting"
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Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Volunteer of the Year

Posted by PicasaThe Pink Palace family of Museums honored me as Volunteer of the Year
while I believe there are others far more worthy of the award, I thank the staff who nominated me as well as worked on their day off to host the luncheon. The food was excellent. In addition to volunteer of the year, I received a bracelet for 500 hours of service and a pin for 3 years of service. In the photo are Max, our eldest, and my wife, Ginger. Great pains were taken to ensure my participation in this event, I had plans to be in Missouri for National Trail Days and to celebrate my friends Dave and Gwen Fuerhing award as AHS Volunteers of the Year then to take William (our youngest) to Little Rock, AR for a Kendo good-will tournament. I was prodded, bribed, and ultimately ordered to stay in town so I knew something was up! William participated in the tournament and reportedly did well, but did not win his match.

Left-handed knitting

It's my blog and I'll rant if I want to!
Dear Fuzzy Galore, EZ and every other knitter who has ever said disparaging comments about left-handed knitters (knitting off the right needle onto the left)

You are a clueless right-handed knitter who needs to keep your mouth SHUT on things you know nothing about. How DARE you say that left-handed knitters who knit from right needle to left needle are "illiterate!" and that learning to knit this way is "too difficult for beginners". Hogwash! Learning to knit is not something everyone takes to like a duck to water, but once the basics are grasped, knitting often begins to slide through our dexterous fingers much as water does. Please do not insult left-handers by thinking every stitch in a pattern has to be reversed. I wish all right-handed people would back off and leave the comments on left-handed knitting to left-handed knitters. How presumptuous can you get??? The ONLY thing that has to be reversed in a knitting pattern (for people who knit from right needle to left needle) is the shaping. Period. And just sit there and contemplate that for a moment. If you are a right handed knitter (knit from left needle to right needle) but you knit in a combined method, is it too complicated for your poor brain to sort out how to make a decrease or increase match the pattern AND accommodate your chosen style of knitting? Or perhaps you knit like the masses, do nothing different (by the way, there is no one way to knit) but your pattern says "for right side, repeat as for left but reverse shaping". Can you sort out how to reverse the shaping without rewriting the entire pattern? Then for the sake of all that is fibrous, let the lefties have a chance. Enough of this condescending "our way is the only way" drivel that has dominated the knitting world. A resurgence in the love of knitting is time to embrace all knitters.

Okay, I feel better now. I have almost wrapped up making the DVD for left-handed knitting. In it I show only 2 of the many ways knitting can be done left-handed, but I do clearly document how to make flat knitting. No twisted stitches here. I am stunned at how many knitting sites supposedly say they have illustrations for left-handed knitting, yet their instructions would result in twisted stitches every time. That's what happens with right handed people assume they know the left-handed world. shut up and knit!